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By Echo Menges, NEMOnews Media Group
One of the first northeast Missouri medicinal cannabis dispensaries, the Missouri Health & Wellness Dispensary (MHWD), officially opened on Monday morning, March 1, 2021.
The dispensary is located on the north side of Kirksville at 215 East Charles Street, which is off Broadway Street just north of the Walmart shopping center.
MHWD holds one of three state licenses issued to operate a dispensary in Kirksville, though it is the only facility of it’s kind to be operational in Kirksville to date. The opening has attracted medicinal cannabis patients from throughout the region with the closest open dispensaries located in Hannibal, Chillicothe and Moberly.
“What we have found is most of our demographic (of customers) seem to be 60 years old and older. Oftentimes they are first-time users and coming in because they are on pharmaceuticals that are not working for them and (they) want to try something else,” said MHWD Regional Manager Kathleen Beebe.
This is the fourth dispensary MHWD has opened in the state. Three operating dispensaries under the same name have been opened in Washington, Sedalia and Jefferson City. A fifth MHWD is expected to open in Belton later this spring.
“It’s been a wild ride. Having the opportunity to get out into the communities and actually meet the people we have been waiting eagerly to meet – that’s very exciting,” said Beebe about opening some of the first dispensaries in the state. “It’s rewarding when someone comes in and they’ve been suffering with something that they haven’t been able to get any relief from, and then they’ve tried cannabis and – it changed their life. That is what makes this job worth it.”
MHWD has hired five employees from throughout the area to work at the Kirksville dispensary. As business increases, they hope to hire more people.
“There is definitely a tax benefit to the community and to the state. In addition to that, there is a four percent marijuana tax that goes directly to veterans programs,” said Beebe.
Currently, MHWD is offering a selection of smokable cannabis flowers and prerolls, and edible THC- infused beverages and gummies. As more Missouri manufacturing facilities bring their cannabis crops to harvest, more Missouri-produced cannabis products will become available. MHWD will eventually offer more items to choose from including vape cartridges, concentrates and a wider selection of edibles. The dispensary also offers a selection of cannabis related products like pipes, rolling papers, dab devices, cannabis journals and other items used to consume and store cannabis.
How It Works
The MHWD is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Due to the pandemic, patrons will have their temperatures taken before being allowed to enter the dispensary and masks must be worn inside the building.
Only Missouri Medical Marijuana (MMMJ) card holders can legally patronize cannabis dispensaries within the state.
MHWD patients and licensed caregivers are asked to show their MMMJ state issued card and a photo ID in the waiting room as soon as they enter the building. State-issued cards can be presented in paper form or digitally (by bringing it up on the screen of a smartphone). As a courtesy, MHWD offers a free laminating service to patients/caregivers who present paper MMMJ cards.
First-time patrons are asked to fill out a short questionnaire before being allowed into the main room of the dispensary.
Patients who need assistance can bring up to two visitors with them to the dispensary. Those visitors will have to show a photo ID in the waiting room before being given a visitor badge.
Once inside the main room of the dispensary, patrons can speak with a Wellness Specialist about the effects of different cannabis strains and forms of cannabis on the menu. They can ask questions and get direction on consumption and the use of cannabis products with THC. Private consultations are also available.
The menu is available online and at the dispensary. Customers may order their cannabis online and pick it up at the dispensary or visit the dispensary and order at the time of pickup.
Customers of the MHWD are limited to purchasing four ounces of cannabis flowers or the equivalent over the course of one month. Some patients do have higher limits, which are granted if a second cannabis recommending doctor deems a higher amount is necessary for the patient.
After the customer decides which items to buy, they will be asked to show their MMMJ card and photo ID again at the time of purchase.
Payment is accepted in cash or with a bank debit card. ATM machines are also available for customer use at the dispensary. Once the items are purchased, the items are put into a bag. The bag is stapled closed with the receipt on top, before it is given to the customer.
The staff at the counter will ask the patient to treat the cannabis like an alcohol container and leave it closed until they return home with it and are reminded to refrain from operating a vehicle after consuming their cannabis.
Cannabis consumption is strictly prohibited on the dispensary property.
The dispensary property is heavily monitored by the staff and security cameras have been placed everywhere on the property inside and outside of the building. Surveillance is used as a layer of protection for the dispensary and the customers.
You can learn more about the new northeast Missouri dispensary at mhwdispensaries.com.